Brother says he is 'proud' of Toulouse killer

By REUTERS
March 24, 2012 14:45

 
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PARIS - The brother of an al-Qaida-inspired gunman who murdered seven people was whisked to Paris on Saturday for further questioning and a police source disclosed he had said he was "proud" of his late sibling's killing spree.

President Nicolas Sarkozy summoned ministers and police chiefs to a meeting on Saturday to discuss the consequences of Mohamed Merah's massacre, which has raised troubling national security questions four weeks ahead of a presidential election.

Sarkozy is facing an uphill re-election battle and his chief intelligence adviser sought to head off media questions about the handling of the affair in the southwest city of Toulouse.

Abdelkader Merah, elder brother of the 23-year-old gunman who died in a hail of police gunfire on Thursday, was taken by car from police barracks in Toulouse for transfer to the capital, along with his wife, a judicial source said.

Both were arrested on Tuesday as negotiators sought their help in trying to persuade Merah to turn himself in. Merah's mother, who was also arrested that day, was likely to be released later on Saturday, according to the same source.

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